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4 Possibilities of a Great Future

Lord, Make Mt. Rock Church Great  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Big Idea: A great future begins with humble repentance and deep devotion.

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Introduction

Read Acts 6:1-7
The church has been growing, and the growing pains are being felt.
ome people are being missed in the ministry efforts. The Apostles commit themselves to the ministry of the Word and prayer, while having the people select deacons – practical helpers.
Some people are being missed in the ministry efforts.
The Apostles commit themselves to the ministry of the Word and prayer, while having the people select deacons – practical helpers.
The result of this emphasis was continued growth of the church, to the point that the number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly and many priests were becoming obedient.
A great church, great Kingdom people, and great leaders all are empowered by God’s Spirit through prayer and the Word.

Big Idea: A great future begins with humble repentance and deep devotion.

God’s purpose in us and through us to bring about the results He wants in building His Kingdom here in the Mt. Rock area and beyond.
Those results are totally dependent on God’s work by His Spirit, no question.
However, how does He do it? Magic? No. Spirit by Himself moving people’s hearts? Usually not.
Do we understand yet that God chooses to do His work through His people? Where God’s people are faithful, lives are transformed. And where His people are failing, the work languishes?
A great future begins with humble repentance, deep devotion (prayer and the word).
A great future begins with humble repentance, deep devotion (prayer and the word), and faithful obedience.

Starting Point for Revival

(revival, awakening, move of God’s Spirit)
Example from OT of repentance
2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV
14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
does not stand alone. There is a back story. And a front story.
A verse often viewed as a command from God, or a promise for America. Is that really the case?
This verse is does not stand alone. We must look at its context. There is a back story. And a front story.
Background of
summary – Solomon’s prayer of dedication. Israel, but all others as well
Read
2 Chronicles 6:32–33 NIV
32 “As for the foreigner who does not belong to your people Israel but has come from a distant land because of your great name and your mighty hand and your outstretched arm—when they come and pray toward this temple, 33 then hear from heaven, your dwelling place. Do whatever the foreigner asks of you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your own people Israel, and may know that this house I have built bears your Name.
2 Chronicles 6:32–33 NIV
32 “As for the foreigner who does not belong to your people Israel but has come from a distant land because of your great name and your mighty hand and your outstretched arm—when they come and pray toward this temple, 33 then hear from heaven, your dwelling place. Do whatever the foreigner asks of you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your own people Israel, and may know that this house I have built bears your Name.
Solomon built the temple. Huge dedication service with prayer and commitment. Solomon asked God to live there in the temple built for Him. And he asked God to hear His people when they pray with all focus on God, coming humbly and with confession and repentance.
Solomon built the temple. Huge dedication service with prayer and commitment. Solomon asked God to live there in the temple built for Him. And he asked God to hear His people when they pray with all focus on God, coming humbly and with confession and repentance.
Basically, Solomon is saying that the people will obviously sin and turn from God. They always do. But after He has allowed the suffering and defeat because of their wandering, and then they turn back to God in repentance, will He hear and forgive and restore?
God answers Solomon at night (dream?)
Yes… I will forgive and heal.
is God’s answer to Solomon. Yes. If they turn back to Me, I will forgive and heal/restore.
In this case, and as we’ll see in other passages, there is a starting point for revival, for forgiveness and restoration.
A great future begins with humble repentance and deep devotion

Humble Repentance

What is the problem? and what is the process?
In this passage - Sin, wandering, suffering, repentance, prayer and devotion, restoration.
Directly a promise to Solomon for Israel.
Open - read highlighted verses
Also deals with humble contrition = remorseful over sin
Isaiah 57:15 NIV
15 For this is what the high and exalted One says— he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.
Principally, found also in the New Testament as a pattern for all God’s people.
Much like the parable of the two sons – the prodigal.
1 John 1:9 NIV
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Revival does not mean giving up everything, becoming a monk, living in the wilderness, eating locusts, and suffering for the rest of our lives.
Also deals with humble contrition = remorseful over sin
Isaiah 57:15 NIV
15 For this is what the high and exalted One says— he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.
Revival does not mean giving up everything, becoming a monk, living in the wilderness, eating locusts, and suffering for the rest of our lives.
Revival. Turning back to God, prioritizing spiritual matters, carrying that back into our reprioritized life events, activities, and relationships.
– results of dedication to prayer and word.
stories of awakening, revival, Holy Spirit renewal, spiritual impact and church growth.
Acts 6:7 NIV
7 So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.
– results of dedication to prayer and word.
Peter and the others preaching repentance – 3,000 believed and baptized,
Acts 2:36–38 NIV
36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” 37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
stories of awakening, revival, Holy Spirit renewal, spiritual impact and church growth.
Peter and the others preaching repentance – 3,000 believed and baptized,
Peter and the others preaching repentance – 3,000 believed and baptized,
Acts 6:7 NIV
7 So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.
Acts 6:7
tax collector
tax collector
Luke 18:13 NIV
13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
Paul to Corinth about sorrow and repentance
Paul to Corinth about sorrow and repentance
2 Corinthians 7:8–11 NIV
8 Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it—I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while— 9 yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. 10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. 11 See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter.
Read verses, but only 10 on slide
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Deep Devotion

Deep Devotion
Acts 2:42 NIV
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
Acts 6:4 NIV
4 and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.”
John 14:23 NIV
23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.
James 1:22–25 NIV
22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
delete 23-24 above
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Example of Jesus
Example of Jesus – ,
Mark 1:35 NIV
35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.
Luke 5:16 NIV
16 But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.

Big Idea: A great future begins with humble repentance and deep devotion.

Conclusion

Forgiveness, healing, obedience…
Do we want a great future together as Mt. Rock Church? Our future very much depends on each one of us doing our part. Not just in helping, reaching, discipling, etc. But in humility, taking up our crosses daily, following Jesus, filling up with the Word and Holy Spirit. Then, as God’s Spirit overflows from us in our service to others there is impact, there are Kingdom results around us.
We must be intentional. We cannot be passive and hope that God does something. He will not work with the unwilling, the unintentional, the passive. Not completely true. The way God works through those is by allowing tragedy and upheaval and distress.
Side notes: If we choose to enjoy this life over developing our spiritual life, this is all we’ve got. We can enjoy all the great activities, memories with family, sports and outdoors and even work. All good things. All good to enjoy. But lifting those things up to the exclusion of spiritual pursuits means that is all we have at the end of our lives. And even if we come to our death bed and look back with great fondness to the great life we lived, having no regrets that way, what do we see when we look forward?

What About You?

A great future begins with humble repentance and deep devotion.

What About You?

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